Owensboro, KY asked in Estate Planning, Elder Law, Probate and Social Security for Kentucky

Q: How do i navigate the death of my mother (was in process of writing a last will and test. but unable to finish)

Me, her daughter was POA in her living will but we hadnt been able to finish writing the last will and testament. I am to be the person to inherit her house and make sure it is available for her kids or grandkids to stay in if they should ever need a place We were talking about a dynasty trust or special needs trust bc my son is receiving ssi for Autistic Disorder and I do not wish to impede his benefits how long do i have to get the ball rolling bc i am not even sure where to start i am drawing a blank

2 Lawyer Answers
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: I'm sorry to hear about the loss of your mother. Navigating estate matters can be complex, especially in situations like yours where the last will and testament was not completed. As the person with power of attorney in her living will, you have a significant role, but it's important to understand the different implications of a living will versus a last will and testament.

Since the will was not finalized, your mother's estate will likely be subject to Kentucky's intestacy laws, which govern how assets are distributed when someone dies without a valid will. However, your role as POA in the living will does not automatically extend to handling her estate after death.

Regarding the house and your intention to keep it within the family, and your concern about your son's SSI benefits, setting up a trust might be a suitable option. A dynasty trust or a special needs trust can help manage these aspects, but it's important to consult with an estate planning attorney to explore the best approach given your unique circumstances.

There's no specific timeline for "getting the ball rolling," but it's advisable to start as soon as you're able to. The process can take time, and starting early can help ensure a smoother transition. Remember, it's okay to seek professional guidance to help you navigate these complex matters and ensure that your mother's wishes, as well as the needs of your family, are taken into consideration.

Timothy Denison and Nina Whitehurst agree with this answer

Timothy Denison
Timothy Denison
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Louisville, KY
  • Licensed in Kentucky

A: If she did not have a completed will, he estate will pass to her heirs at law by intestacy.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

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